Ricky Rubio Not Counting On Return To Jazz

Jazz guard Ricky Rubio doesn’t appear to be counting on a return to the team for another season, with the veteran point guard making some rather interesting comments this week on his upcoming free agency period.

“Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” Rubio said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio (Twitter link).

Rubio appeared in 68 games with the Jazz this season, averaging 12.7 points, 6.1 assists 1.3 steals in 27.9 minutes per contest. He’s set to join a talented free-agent group that includes point guards such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, D’Angelo Russell, Malcolm Brogdon and more, giving the Jazz several options to consider outside of Rubio.

Rubio, 28, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons, spending six years with the Timberwolves before being traded to Utah in June of 2017.

In addition to Rubio (who made $14.9MM last season), the Jazz also have wing Thabo Sefolosha and center Ekpe Udoh to address in unrestricted free agency this summer. Utah finished with the fifth-best record in the Western Conference at 50-32 during the regular season, but the team lost to Houston 4-1 in the opening round of the playoffs.

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11 thoughts on “Ricky Rubio Not Counting On Return To Jazz

  1. Codeeg

    Where does this no-shot type of PG fit on teams? He’s obviously great at passing, but even Rondo is ahead of him on that.

    • JT19

      Off the top of my head the teams with a potential need/hole at point guard (assuming Kyrie and Kemba don’t go to these teams) are Indiana, Orlando, Boston, Phoenix, and maybe the Lakers. Considering the amount of PGs on the market and not enough starting spots, I could see Rubio having to sign a 1 year “prove-it” type of deal to come off the bench or mentor a young PG (Memphis, if they draft Ja Morant would fit this profile if they trade Conley).

  2. L Lawliet

    Rubio will soon learn he will extend his career being a back up pg 6 or 7th man type role

  3. raz427

    Fml this has Bulls written all over it doesn’t it? Welp another year of 36 wins. Fml

  4. hiflew

    I got $500 that says neither Kyrie Irving nor Kemba Walker (and probably not Russell) is going to Utah. So I wouldn’t consider them legitimate options for Utah at PG.

  5. Alphabet Street

    Looking to replace Rubio with a faux-upgrade like Conley is a mistake imo… Rubio’s impact on the game has always been greater than his box-score #s (although those are also solid in recent years if you adjust for minutes, as he’s played under 30 mpg on Utah).

    Since ESPN started tracking RPM (“real” plus-minus, meaning it’s adjusted to include teammate impact and other factors that skew raw plus-minus stats) in 2014, Rubio’s defensive RPM has been higher than any PG except Chris Paul. Rubio also only trails Paul among PGs in steals per 36 & steal % over that time period (he’s behind Paul & Westbrook in spg, due to Westbrook’s higher mpg). And Rubio tied with Paul George for league lead in hustle stats (loose balls recovered + deflections) per 36 last season. So, along with his elite passing and ballhandling, Rubio’s among the best defenders in the NBA at his position, which often gets overlooked.

    Rubio may have an unorthodox mix of strengths & weaknesses for a starting PG in today’s NBA, but all indications are that he makes it work.to his team’s benefit. He also shoots well enough, at least in recent years, that teams have to cover him on the perimeter (which is all he really needs to open up the rest of his game). His shooting is still a clear weakness, but it doesn’t derail him at 33% from deep in his two seasons on the Jazz (higher on open 3s). And he’s good-to-great at just about every other part of the game.

    Don’t be surprised if whichever team Rubio ends up on exceeds expectations next year. Most NBA fans overlook players like Rubio, but he generally has an all-star-level (i.e. top 30-ish) impact on the game when he’s healthy, just in a different way than most top players.

    He’d be a great fit for a few teams. Two projected playoff teams that immediately come to mind are Indy (clear upgrade on Collison & can also play next to him in some lineups and cover SGs) and Dallas (if they keep mostly playing Luka at SF, bringing in Rubio is an upgrade at PG that makes them into an elite passing team and shores up their perimeter D—also, their sharpshooting frontcourt of Porzingis/Kleber/Doncic allows them to absorb Rubio’s iffy shooting especially well).

    • cesc

      That is a great comment & analysis.
      I do too agree that he has always been underrated, I am very surprised he has never been an all-star.
      I value way more highly a pass first PG than a shoot first PG, unless you have a LBJ or Jokic in your team, you need a PG to pass the ball.

  6. victorg

    I would like to ree ROX trade CP3 and get Rubio in sixth man role and just move Gordon into the starting line up with harden and get a legit SF.

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